Natural El Cerrito

“El Cerrito is blessed with many fine parks, major open space areas, several creeks, and easy access to the regional park system.” (General Plan 6-7)

Over the years, El Cerrito has protected and restored several natural areas that provide habitat, biodiversity, and urban respite. The City and its residents have active programs to maintain and improve these “beads on a green necklace”.


The Hillside Natural Area (HNA) is a 165-acre open space, located east of Navellier Street and west of Contra Costa Drive. The open space has a number of trails that are used for both recreation and emergency access. The area includes oak-woodlands, grasslands, and fuel breaks and surround the old Hutchison Quarry and the Recycling and Environmental Resource Center. If you have a maintenance related question/concern about the Hillside Natural Area, contact the Public Works Maintenance Division.

The City of El Cerrito is developing the HNA Fire Resilience and Forest Conservation Management Plan.  For more information on the plan and how to get involved, visit HNA Plan.  

El Cerrito Urban Greening Plan

The City of El Cerrito developed an Urban Greening Plan to further improve the quality of life for residents by enhancing the public places and open spaces throughout the city. The Plan identified needs, opportunities and strategies for creating a greener, more environmentally sustainable and livable City through an online survey and a series of three community workshops. The City applied for and was awarded a Proposition 84 Planning Grant to develop the Plan with the intent of increasing connectivity; creating day-to-day green places to gather, play and enjoy; improving existing parks and green spaces; promoting opportunities for residents and businesses to improve their green spaces; and identifying new ways to meet our community's needs with limited resources. For more information on the plan, visit Urban Greening Plan

Joint Study Session PowerPoint

Joint Study Session DRAFT Policy Workbook

Joint Study Session Focus Area Descriptions

Use the links to the left to find out more about local creeks, wildlife and native plants.

Get Involved!

The City has numerous programs and works with a number of partners to tend to our natural areas.

Green Teams: sponsored by the Environmental Quality Committee

Earth Day: At Earth Day each year, hundreds of El Cerrito residents get involved in improving our natural areas.

Adopt-A-Place: Lend your or your group’s efforts to care for a particular place

Friends of Five Creeks: Join our partner, Friends of 5 Creeks and help plant and weed to steward Cerrito Creek (plus other creeks within our area)